Scissors get dull. Fast. Getting them professionally sharpened can cost a pretty penny, too. Rather than shelling out for a sharpening session or for a brand new pair of shears, I decided to learn exactly how to sharpen scissors on my own. I did a little research, and here's what I learned:
Sure, your glue gun melts glue sticks, but does it drip glue all over the place when sitting on its "kickstand"? Does it seem to spontaneously tip over when sitting on said kickstand? Does it take forever to reach maximum heat?
If your glue gun does any or all of these things, it might be time to break up with it and find a new model. After hours and hours of testing 6 models—4 corded and 2 cordless—of wildly varying prices, we've pinned down our favorites. Let's introduce our contenders (and our recommendations):
I thoroughly enjoy woodworking, and I know that I'm not alone. There are tons of women out there that enjoy the craft! Spoil your mother or the lady in your life with one (or all!) of these cool tools!
These tools and gadgets are not those of the too-good-to-be-true variety. They're totally legit and they just might make your next DIY project a snap. Because they might be flying under the radar for some, we decided to profile them here. In no order of spectacularness
Somehow I managed to score this gift guide assignment again this year (see my post from 2010), even though Chris is clearly the more qualified person to do it (I mean, c'mon, he makes stuff all the time, like donuts and romesco sauce).
Nevertheless, I am nothing if not a shameless amateur, and I like to think of myself as food-literate. So, fueled by this decidedly non-gourmet turkey sandwich I whipped up for lunch and a string of INXS...
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
If you're like me, always trundling over to the neighbor's garage to borrow time on his table saw, then this is the giveaway you've been waiting for. This week, we've teamed up with the folks at Craftsman to give you guys a really solid, 10" Table Saw with Laser Trac (model 21807). This thing retails for almost 350 bucks, and the reviews on it are overwhelmingly good (seriously, look for yourself, it's one of Consumer Research's best buys)
And, over at ManMadeDIY, we're also giving away a really nice Craftsman Miter Saw, so you can double your chances to win (well, I'm not a statistician, not maybe not really, but come on).
Last weekend, our own Chris Gardner was on a fun online TV called the Craftsman Experience, showing off his mad tooling skills, so we're excited to let you have a chance to win one for yourself.
Read on to find out how to enter both giveaways!
I'm not gonna lie: I have a lot of tools. If you walk into my basement, you'll see a fully-equipped studio/shop that allows me to come up with original how-tos and teach folks to make unique things for their homes. But, scads of power tools, craft supplies, or fancy software are a luxury, not a necessity.
If I could only have five tools in my arsenal, I wouldn't choose a single power tool. Okay, well, maybe my table saw, but only because it's so versatile, and really fun to use. But there are inexpensive hand tools that work just as well.
With that in mind, here's Curbly's top five DIY best buys: five things we think every passionate homeowner should have. Not an essential home maintenance kit, but five things that'll help you create your own original pieces of furniture, home decor, and art. All under $20 USD.
UPDATE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
But before you do that, make sure to check out Chris's post on the top five essential DIY tools under $20; what are your essential DIY tools?
How To Enter to Win:
To win this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post:
If you're in the process of decorating your space, this may be the single most helpful tool you could own: a paint chip keychain custom-made from your own color palette! It's a simple DIY project that will make shopping for furniture, fabric, or accessories that much easier.
Making your home a better place doesn't take a lot of money, and you should never let a lack of supplies or tools intimidate you from trying a home improvement project. Remember, you can always rent or borrow any special tools you might need (a drywall jack, for example, is one of those things you probably don't need to own, but comes in really, really handy when the time is right).
That said, having the right tool for the job can be...
Next time you see sawhorses in a shop, don't take them for granted. It takes more than a little effort to build a pair if you've never done it before. I've tried the store-bought kind. They don't hold a candle to custom sized, good old fashioned handmade wooden sawhorses. Even if you're just dabbling in some carpentry projects, you need a good pair of these handy helpers.
The banner ad for Dremel up there at the top of Curbly got me longing to pull out my underused Dremel. Now there's a tool that's full of all sorts of DIY design potential, but not fired up very often. Pumpkin carving came right to mind, and before I knew it, I was face to face with the Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit.
Recently, I had the opportunity to take Craftsman's new Nextec 12 volt lithium-ion right angle impact driver, for a test drive. I had seen television adverts for the Nextec Hammerhead Auto Hammer and it had piqued my interest, so when the impact driver showed up on my doorstep, I wasted no time in giving it the Maven once-over.
Mr. Mod is right. It's not getting organized that's the problem, it's maintaining it that's the hard part. I'll go a step further and say that if you have a system that makes sense to you, it's much easier to keep the mess in check. I'm always struggling with the challenge of keeping order in my shop, so this will be printed and posted on my over-cluttered inspiration board. According to DIY Life, there are six obvious categories that need to be organized to eliminate frustration.
Fresh from The Upholstery Fair, tips from the pros are on my mind. Every single workshop I attended touted the mulitple uses for steel wool. Granted, none of the old timers suggested edging a robe with it, but they each did have their favorite uses for our old friend, steel wool. No tool box or shop should be without a variety of steel wool choices. This Old House lists 10 uses:
If you see really beautifully turned wooden bowls, like at an art fair, stop and take a look. It's easy to overlook how much time goes into making a wood bowl on a lathe. This has to be due to the abundance of mass-produced, zero personality wooden bowls on the market.
Dental floss might well be the most versatile tool to carry around with you. Just look at some (and I mean SOME, not all) of the ways it can work for you. Hanging pictures, dog chew toy, art work, scrunchy...
I'll be the first to admit that when I get a free tool to test, I treat it a bit more aggressively than if I had shelled out the bucks for it myself. Hey, I figure my job is to put it through its paces, right? Well, the Craftsman Labs does just that, only they don't use the tools as intended. They mostly find crazy ways to beat
How are you all ever going to get that chair reupholstered without a proper upholstery height workbench? The right tools are a must. You see, upholstering on the floor is no good. You get up and down and have to flip and lift furniture to get all around it. A normal table height is no good either, a chair is way too high up to get the leverage you need. Now there's an answer. Just follow my simple instructions and photos of the Mr. making...
Traditional twist bits usually come in a set, with a perfectly organized case or box with the dimensions clearly marked, so that you can find what you need easily. Most even close and stay stowed.
Then, there's all those other bits you eventually amass: all sorts of driving bits, spade bits, countersink bits, combo bits, and bits, bits, bits, bits. Here's a few options to keep them off your bench and shelves and out of trays and drawers....